Team Races Aggressive, But Misses Key Move

Team Races Aggressive, But Misses Key Move

Saturday 21 January 2012 - 05:53
Team Races Aggressive, But Misses Key Move

Team Races Aggressive, But Misses Key Move

Saturday 21 January 2012 - 05:53

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Serge Pauwels and Gerald Ciolek made the lead group of 30 riders going into the final climb of a 151.5 km race, but missed the most important move of the day when a small bunch of riders attacked the front group. Unfortunately, the decisive move dropped Ciolek into 13th in general classification contention (+42 seconds), after he was as high as fourth (+6 seconds) in the GC upon finishing second in a stage 4 bunch sprint. Pauwels moved up to 17th in GC, but is now a minute and 28 seconds behind the leader, after only being 12 seconds back in 18th place going into stage 5. Ciolek was the top finisher for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, crossing the line 13th (+42 seconds). Pauwels finished 16th (one minute, 18 seconds after the stage winner). Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) pipped Simon Gerrans (Green Edge Cycling Team) on the line up Old Willunga Hill to win Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5. Valverde bested a group of seven or eight riders, who dropped the lead group of 30 up the final 3 km, 7.6 percent gradient climb.

Andy Fenn made sure the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team had a hand in the first move of the day. He was part of a six man break roughly 3 km into the race. The break built up a lead by as much as 8 minutes and 25 seconds at the 68 km mark (83.5 km remaining) before the peloton began accelerating to reel in the group.

None of the riders in the break were in GC contention, which could explain why the peloton was not panicked about reeling them in. The six man break, including Fenn, didn't compete for the first Jayco Sprint points. This was a hint they didn't believe the break would stick. Fenn placed second in the first sprint point location, and second in the final sprint point area, by nature of the paceline rotation.

The gap was down to 4 minutes and 30 seconds by the time the break was within about a kilometer of the Jayco Sprint point (103.4 km mark). The break held out a while longer, but were absorbed ascending Old Willunga Hill for the first time on the SKODA King of the Mountain climb (129.1 mark, 22.4 km remaining). The catch of the six man breakaway was soon followed by the 30 rider race split.

For results, click here. For our photo gallery of Stage 5, click here

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